Kurlander & Associates’ Michele S. Kurlander is an attorney with over 45 years experience, who though she is the only owner of the firm, works with other lawyers with whom she maintains long term working relationships, who she can call upon when a client’s legal matter requires current and complex knowledge in an area of the law in which she is not an expert – such as litigation, criminal matters, intellectual properties, and tax matters.
The firm handles legal matters in a number of areas as set forth elsewhere on this website.
Ms. Kurlander is responsive, innovative, careful and thorough, and experienced in business, real estate, wills & trusts and WBE* matters. She has built relationships with other lawyers over the years, during which she has practiced law in three predecessor law firms so that her ability to call upon other lawyers to discuss problems or work with her essentially expands her practice beyond that of a sole practitioner.
(* helping a woman owned business to obtain and maintain certification as such with such entities as the Woman Business Enterprise National Council and the City of Chicago)
For example, although Ms. Kurlander recognizes that it is usually best for controversies to be resolved without the cost and uncertainty of court proceedings, she also understands that sometimes such proceedings cannot be avoided – and though she does not have extensive experience in doing court work alone, has long maintained close relationships with and called upon attorneys in other firms who are experts in such matters – in recent years on a more regular basis since the retirement of the firm’s litigation “of-counsel” Leon Lindenbaum. Litigation runs more smoothly when we are kept current on the status of such litigation, and are available to work shoulder to shoulder with the attorney actually going to the courthouse, as needed, in order to review the substance of filings and sometimes observe at hearings (at no charge unless we contribute substantive legal services at the time of the hearing) so that our familiarity with the client and the facts of the matter in dispute are always available. At the same time, we are careful to avoid double billing.
Ms. Kurlander will also take the time to learn how to handle a matter that is within an area in which she practices but in which she may not have current experience and will bill no time for the learning process. One example is when a client wanted to acquire a 7b real estate classification for a property on which he intended to build a headquarters for his business – and his real estate tax lawyer did not want to take it on because he preferred the work of obtaining appraisals and causing tax reductions at the assessors and board of tax appeals levels, for which he was paid a percentage of the reduction, but did not want to bill hourly over many months to attempt to obtain this tricky tax classification that permits an owner of a commercial property to be taxed for 12 years at rates more akin to taxation of residential properties. Kurlander studied the ordinance and other background material, talked to people at the local Village and at Cook County (not billing any time for this learning process); did the paperwork, made the allegations as required, attended the meetings; and obtained that classification for the client.